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Jimmy Soni

25 Podcast Episodes

Latest 4 Feb 2023 | Updated Daily

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Episode 104: Jimmy Soni on Why PayPal Was Successful


In this OODAcast, we talk with Jimmy Soni, the author of the book "The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley". The Founders was one my Top 10 Security, Technology, and Business books of 2022, and is one of the few books I read last year that qualifies for each category. Jimmy takes a deep, historical look at the founding story of PayPal with detailed analysis, interviews, and access that you won't find in any other telling of the PayPal story. PayPal is a fascinating company to look at, not only to examine the PayPal business, but in looking at what emerged out of the PayPal founding team in the future. A list of companies that includes the likes of SpaceX, Tesla, Affirm, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yammer, Palantir, Kiva, Yelp, and Yammer! In the OODAcast we discuss: PayPal's founding history The unique cast of characters and the importance of understanding their origin stories Key moments in PayPal's success How PayPal is ultimately a hacker success story. Podcast Version: Official Bio: Jimmy Soni is an award-winning author. His newest book, The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, was a national bestseller and received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, The Economist, Financial Times, and more. His previous book, A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, won the 2017 Neumann Prize, awarded by the British Society for the History of Mathematics for the best book on the history of mathematics for a general audience, and the 2019 Middleton Prize by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his daughter, Venice. Recommended Books: The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley A Night to Remember Paper Belt on Fire: How Renegade Investors Sparked a Revolt Against the University

1hr 6mins

6 Jan 2023

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Jimmy Soni: The Influential Founders of PayPal

Burn the Boats

Jimmy Soni is an author and journalist who was named among Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 in media. His new book, The Founders, takes a look at how PayPal was a launching pad for some of the world's most impactful tech entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, went on to create SpaceX, Youtube, Yelp, and many other influential companies. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @jimmyasoni Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


10 Aug 2022

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Jimmy Soni — Make Things, and Be Playful (EP.108)

Infinite Loops

Jimmy Soni is an author whose work focuses on people who create and build interesting things—whether theories, carousels, or companies. His books include “The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley”, “A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age”, and more! You can follow Jimmy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jimmyasoni and go through his work on https://jimmysoni.com/ Show Notes: The joy of curiosity How memes spread The Great Reshuffle How internet changed the publishing industry Parallels between early days of PayPal and Bitcoin Money as an information system Appreciating the micro-level decisions Three new things about Elon The Elon Effect How the PayPal founders brought the best out of people The unknown names who were critical to PayPal Claude Shannon’s financial decisions Wealth is a byproduct of the devotion to the craft Books Mentioned: The Founders; by Jimmy Soni A Mind at Play; by Jimmy Soni Virus of the Mind; by Richard Brodie The Sovereign Individual; by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg What Works on Wall Street; Jim O'Shaughnessy

1hr 19mins

2 Jun 2022

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Interviewing The Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley With Jimmy Soni

BetterWealth with Caleb Guilliams

In this episode of the BetterWealth Podcast I interview Jimmy Soni who is the author of, "The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley. Jimmy shares with us what it was like interviewing Elon Musk, Amy Rowe Klement, Peter Thiel, and many more influential entrepreneurs and what he learned from these powerhouses in the business world.Guest BioJimmy Soni is a best-selling and award-winning author.. His latest book, THE FOUNDERS: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, was a debut best-seller and has earned praise from the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, among many others. Described as “an intensely magnetic chronicle” (The New York Times) and “engrossing” (Business Insider), With exclusive interviews with Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, and many others, Soni explores PayPal’s turbulent early days and the shaping of a generation of technological talent. “Deeply reported and bracingly written, this book is an indispensable guide to modern innovation and entrepreneurship,” notes Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Code Breaker.Guest LinkWebsite: http://jimmysoni.com/ Get a copy of - The Founders: http://amzn.to/30PqMV2 #BetterWealth Free 15 Minute Clarity Call: https://bttr.ly/ytclarity The And Asset Book: https://bttr.ly/book BetterWealth Quiz:  https://bttr.ly/quiz AndAsset.com:  https://bttr.ly/andasset BetterWealth Youtube - https://bttr.ly/bwyoutube Financial Advisor, Agent or Coach: https://bttr.ly/advisor


1 Jun 2022

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472: Jimmy Soni - An Indispensable Guide To Innovation, Curiosity, & Leadership (The Founders)

The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

Text Hawk to 66866 for Mindful Monday... A carefully curated email sent to you every Monday to help you start your week right... Full show notes at www.LearningLeader.com Twitter/IG: @RyanHawk12      https://twitter.com/RyanHawk12 Jimmy Soni is an award-winning author. His book, A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, won the 2017 Neumann Prize, awarded by the British Society for the History of Mathematics for the best book on the history of mathematics for a general audience, and the Middleton Prize by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His book, Jane’s Carousel, completed with the late Jane Walentas, captured one woman’s remarkable twenty-five-year journey to restore a beloved carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Jimmy's most recent book is called, The Founders - The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley.  Notes: “Your life will be shaped by the things you create, and the people you make them with. We tend to sweat the former. We don't worry enough about the latter." The founders and earliest employees of PayPal pushed and prodded and demanded better of one another. Instead of "Acknowledgements" to end his book, Jimmy titled the section "Debts" "A debt is deeper than an Acknowledgement." Envy the optimist, not the genius. There’s real power in optimism. The world is built by optimists. Look for the silver things. Have belief. Be the type of person that believes in themselves and others… Optimism builds confidence in yourself and others. Be an optimist. Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan – The fact that Phil told the best player in the world… “We aren’t going to win a championship if you keep playing that way. You have to buy into the triangle offense.” It shows the value of a friend (or a coach) telling you the truth in order to help you (and the team) get better. "Walter Isaacson made me believe in its (the book) importance and potential. At the very end, he provided the kind of advice that can only come from someone who has spent years laboring in the same fields. Peter Thiel refined Max Levchin's thinking... He made him better. Ask, "Have you thought about it this way?" Watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi Kobe Bryant was an incredible learning machine. His insatiable curiosity made him better. You can become curious about anything. Mr. Beast spent hours every day on Skype with his friends talking about how to grow a YouTube channel. We live in a moment were you can connect with others who are passionate about the same topics you are. With the internet, you can connect with anyone. Qualities of the leaders who created PayPal: It was so hard. They all experienced failure and bounced back. Highly intelligent. Hard-working. They worked 7 days a week. There was no work-life balance. They weren't just resilient, they were fast-moving. Life Advice: What looks like expertise on the outside is generally messiness on the inside. Leadership in Solitude. There are benefits to spending some time by yourself. Ask – The people who make things happen are willing to ASK. Steve Jobs to Bill Hewlitt. Elon Musk to Dr. Peter Nicholson. Those "asks" changed the trajectory of their lives. Who knows, maybe your next ASK will change yours… Claude Shannon, Bell Laboratories, renowned as an incredible hub of innovation…  whose work in the 1930s and ’40s earned him the title of “father of the information age.” Geniuses have a unique way of engaging with the world, and if you spend enough time examining their habits, you discover the behaviors behind their brilliance.

1hr 10mins

15 May 2022

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Episode 200: The Founders with Jimmy Soni, Author & Speechwriter

Point of No Return podcast

On this week’s show, we spoke with Jimmy Soni,  Author & Speechwriter. This is a special show celebrating the 200th episode of this podcast.  Jimmy Soni is an American author and former managing editor of The Huffington Post. He is best known for A Mind at Play, his biography of Claude Shannon and The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley. Soni became the managing editor at The Huffington Post in January 2012. Previously he had worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey and Company, as well as a speech writer at the office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia. In 2012, Soni was named to AdWeek's "Young Influentials", a list of 20 people under 40 "who are wicked smart and rebooting your world". He was featured at a TEDx event held at Duke University in March 2012. On the show, we spoke about:  His amazing book The Founders The great man theory of history  How he became interested in the story of PayPal The many lessons from studying and writing the book His strategy for interviewing successful and busy people I’m thrilled that Jimmy took the time. His book is a must read.  I hope that you enjoy the conversation! Let us know what you think. What types of guests would you like to see on the show?  What topics interest you the most? Send me your thoughts at nectar@thepnr.com Subscribe | iTunes | Google Play |Spotify | YouTube | Stitcher |


29 Apr 2022

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Jimmy Soni: The Founders- The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley

StartEdUp Podcast

In this episode author Jimmy Soni not only discusses his new book, The Founders, but he also goes into the "DNA" of the legendary founders of PayPal. Names like Elon, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, David Sacks, and Reid Hoffman certainly draw attention, but the behind-the-scenes people that make it happen are given credit. We also go into ecosystems like Silicon Valley and how these innovation and entrepreneurial mindsets can be brought into more classrooms. Lastly, Jimmy recalls his favorite teacher who inspired him to write his book!In fact, he wants to hear from you! Please tag me on Twitter or LinkedIn @donwettrick and nominate YOUR favorite teacher. We will pick a winner and send you AND your favorite teacher Jimmy's new book!https://jimmysoni.com/about/

1hr 16mins

16 Mar 2022

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Jimmy Soni: The Inside Story of PayPal

Commonwealth Club of California Podcast

How much do we know about the apps that we use daily? In the case of PayPal, relatively few know the early story of the now-behemoth. Its precarious origins—coming about in the limitless, tumultuous late 1990s and early 2000s meant it was far from a shoo-in. It faced staunch competition, never-before-seen levels of internet fraud, and internal friction that could’ve ruined its path to success.Nowadays, PayPal is a household name. Its founders are among the best-known names in the tech industry: Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Max Levchin, among others. Jimmy Soni’s book The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, details not only the meteoric rise of the company and its founders, but all that came before and made it possible. With privileged access to the internal materials of the company’s early days, Soni paints a picture of what brought together these tech giants and how they dared to dream of cashless currency when few others dared.Jimmy Soni holds the answer to why this idea, out of the many it rivaled, won against the odds. Soni will bring to life the story of PayPal, highlighting not just the prominent founders but the unsung heroes that built the brick-by-brick success the company now touts.NOTESThis program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.SPEAKERSJimmy SoniAuthor, The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon ValleyIn Conversation with Katherine BoyleGeneral Partner, a16zIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently hosting all of our live programming via YouTube live stream. This program was recorded via video conference on March 9th, 2022 by the Commonwealth Club of California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 1min

11 Mar 2022

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The PayPal Diaspora with Jimmy Soni

The Deep End

Jimmy Soni  is author of "The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley." The book hit shelves yesterday. In 2022, PayPal’s founders and earliest employees are considered one of the technology industry’s most powerful alumni networks. Since leaving PayPal, these players have formed, funded, and advised the leading companies of our era, including Tesla, Facebook, YouTube, SpaceX, Yelp, Palantir, and LinkedIn, among many others. As a group, they have driven twenty-first-century innovation and entrepreneurship. Their names are as controversial as they are admired. Yet for all their influence, the story of where they first started has gone largely untold. In this episode, we discuss the key differences between a mafia and a diaspora, the psychologically jarring effects of the dotcom bubble burst, and the competitive work ethic that fuels the alums of PayPal to this day. You can find out more about The Founders, and some of Jimmy’s other books by visiting his website at jimmysoni.com Hosted by Marshall Kosloff and produced by Jackson Steger


24 Feb 2022

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The PayPal Mafia & the Founders Who Shaped Silicon Valley | Jimmy Soni

Hidden Forces

In Episode 233 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with award-winning author and recurring Hidden Forces guest Jimmy Soni about his newst book on the PayPal Mafia and the founders who shaped Silicon Valley and transformed the Fintech and online payments industry. The history of the so-called “PayPal Mafia” does not simply constitute the individual histories of star-studded founders like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reed Hoffman, and others. The history of PayPal is in many ways the history of the future. It's about a company that was in so many ways ahead of its time. PayPal was fintech before anyone even knew what that word meant. It was one of the earliest pioneers of what former team member and later LinkedIn founder Reed Hoffman would dub “blitzscalling,” which is what you do when you need to grow really, really fast. And that’s what PayPal's founders did, and they did it while under constant threat of extinction, from not only criminals trying to defraud their customers or competitors trying to take their business, but also from each other. And that's because the story of the PayPal mafia is also the story of an unlikely, but nonetheless successful merger of two very different but equally competitive cultures, that of Elon Musk’s X.com and Peter Thiel’s Confinity. The objective of this episode is to give you a historical context for many of the business practices that have since become standard operating procedures across both Silicon Valley and Wallstreet. Things like CAPTCHA, blitzscalling, and micro-deposits, just to name a few. All of these innovations came out of a company under siege for almost the entire course of its pre-IPO existence, and it was in many ways this daily battle for survival that was central to shaping not only PayPal’s culture, but its success: the type of success that every entrepreneur and every founder dreams of. Most of the conversation about fraud, using financial incentives to effectively buy customers and scale quickly, as well as a discussion about the intersection of fintech and cryptocurrency is featured in the second part of our episode available on our premium subscriber feed. Anyone signed up to our Super Nerd tier can also access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at https://hiddenforces.io/newsletter/ Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://hiddenforces.io Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 02/14/2022


21 Feb 2022